Wright Brothers Institute Mourns the Loss of Executive Director

09.01.20 08:17 PM By Jennie Hempstead

Wright Brothers Institute (WBI) is saddened to announce the unexpected passing of Executive Director Dr. David Walker on January 8, 2020 in Dayton, Ohio. 


Dr. Walker’s tenure with Wright Brothers Institute began in June of 2019. His reputation for Air Force innovation was widely known in defense communities and he was passionate about what WBI and the Air Force Research Laboratory could accomplish in the coming months. He elevated both organizations with his outstanding leadership, friendship, and mentorship to so many during his storied career.


Previously Dr. Walker served as the Research and Development Portfolio director with the Office of Naval Research (ONR). Prior to his service at ONR, Dr. Walker was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Science, Technology and Engineering, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Washington, D.C. He prepared policy, guidance and advocacy for the Air Force's annual $2 billion science and technology program and served as the functional manager for more than 20,000 military and civilian scientists and engineers.


Dr. Walker retired from an active-duty Air Force career as a colonel in 2006. As a master navigator, he has more than 2,700 hours in 65 different types of aircraft including the RF-4C and the F-15E. He served in a variety of assignments in operations, developmental test and evaluation, science and technology and the Air Staff. 


Dr. Walker’s multi-service expertise helped WBI rapidly connect technology developed inside AFRL to men and women in uniform. The Air Force Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Office, Air Force Life Cycle Management (AFLCMC) and Air Force Special Operations Command (SOCOM) are some of the Air Force organizations leveraging WBI’s innovation and commercialization practices.


Dr. Walker will be deeply missed by many in the Dayton region, and beyond.


Those wishing to pay their respects to Dr. David Walker may attend a visitation at Newcomer Funeral Home in Beavercreek, Ohio on Tuesday, January 14 from 5-7 pm. All are welcome. More details are available here http://bit.ly/2RbBLzs


Download a PDF version here.